The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on October 10, 1950 · Page 17
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 17

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 10, 1950
Page 17
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JTJESPAT, OCTOBER 10, 19W IttATHEVrLLE, (ARK.) COURIER NEWS Swapping ofArrowpoint Launched Long Study of Past Ages in County Nodena, Museum Rich in Missco's Earliest History "he year was 1866. '» Memphis, Tetin., two small "oy» faced each other warily. "What'll you take for the airow- Pomt?" one of them opened. riie other dug hli toe into the ground. "Oli, I dunno, what'll you give?" "I got an aggie. You want 111" "Depends. Arrowpoints ain't so <»*y to get you know." "Vou mean a gen-u-wine not so common. Where else nan you Set a shooter like this without pajr- ln£ money for it?" The boy tucked the agate marble into a cocked fist and took an imaginary shot. "Arrowpoint! ar» prelly common 'round here." 'I'd like to see you prove It." The nine-year-old owner of the • gate did prove it and made the trade r-t acquiring -»n arrowpoint which became the first of 41,560 separate items to be displayed some W years later at the Henry Clay Hampson II Memorial Museum of Archeology at Ncdena.' Dr. James K. Hampson, now approaching his 74th birthday at his , plantation home near Wilson, was the successful trader in that youthful swap-test and today the retired physician still is collecting. The museum building 'is not an •Impressive site, j-^- Was Genera] Store ^•.ocated at the base of a Mississippi River leyee near Island 34. the building which In 1900 was a general store, sags a bit In the' middle and the front and sides are almost completely obscured by shading branches of mulberry and sliver leaf maple trees. r. But inside, the museum-beckons the visitor to days of an era long gone by~,thni of the Indians and their oredecessors, the Mound Builders. Here, neatly rowed pottery urns, vases, plates, vessels, beads, burial urns, clay toys, stone, axes, chisels, drills, arrowpoints, spears, hammer- stones, ancient basket remnants, bone knives, needles, awls'and human skeletons^ and skulls point up the /aded spirit of a once-hardy race lost in the' scouring sands of civilization. *• These objects are a silent .hut unquestionable record of the customs of their race. Dr. Hampson. assisted by members of his family, has' assimilated these articles from excavations in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky. Oklahoma. Texas and Louisi- HAMPSON ARCHEOI.OGICAL MUSEUM—Dr —Courier News Pholo K. Hampson lights his pipe on the porch of hi* private museum at Nodena. A youthiul admirer watches during the doctofs pause In . story of Indians and ana with the majority coming from that part of Mississippi County now known as Nodena. < Studied f '. for 10 Years It was at Nodena that Dr. Hamp•son spent a decade studying the ancient . Mound Builders' village which he says was abandoned sometime before 1300 A.D. "We map and survey each site before beginning excavation," Dr. Hampson says, "and our studies of the home plot took most of our time for 10 years." At least 2500 skeletons have been excavated from the Nodens village and Dr. Hampson says there is no way of estimating the number destroyed by the plow and those yet undiscovered. A great number of these skeletons have found their way into archaeological exhibits at Harvard. Yale and various universities as many scientists from all over the world have aided the doctor in his surveys and studies. The Hampsons have constructed j scale mode! of the Mound Builder village (one inch to one foot), which is known to be an exact replica of the community. Life in this village seems to have centered in the temple and council house with the former being located near the center of the plot and the latter squatting near an outer fringe. . . . 150 Skulls on Dijplaj These houses were constructed of Telephone 8-1487 F. O. B. Edw. M. Foley SPOT COTTON 108 S Front Memphis 3, Tenn. split cain basketry held together by a water-mixed clay. Near [he Mound Builders' temple was found a small mound from which 316 skeletons were taken — Indicating that the plot may have been used as a burial site for the tribe's royalty. Probably the- most Interesting portion of the museum is the "skull room." Here. Dr. Hampson has placed on display 150 skulls varying from the short square-headed type known to be Mound Builders to that of the longer variety identifiable as that of the true Indian. These skulls are measured and their characteristics and Idiosyncrasies carefully catalogued by Dr. Hampson and they l.ave revealed much to him about the lives and knowledge of these prehlstorical Mississippi Countlnns. Three skulls show evidences of surgery, Dr. Hompson explains to the visitor, and by his own knowledge of medicine points out that two of the patients recovered. In one instance .a hole was drilled just above the forehead to provide an opening to the sinus cavity, while in others, a section of the skull base has been removed and restored with the wounds healing perfectly. "Stone chisels and drills v,ere used by these early physicians," Dr. Hnmpson tells the visitor, "nnd in most instances their treatment was very good." To substantiate this claim, he can show a bone healed by surgery which he claims to be (LS good as that which can be performed by the modern-day medics. Of all the skeleton* itudled by Dr. Hampson, only on* bone has given any indication of. ayphtllls among the Mound Builders. In another room ai the museum, Dr. Hampson and his family have recreated a small tiurial plot (believed to be a family cemetery) which clearly ihows the exact burial methods used by these primitive people. Skeletons of eight adults and one child were found In this plot and they have be«n laid out in the exact position in which they were found. The dead were buried in graves about three feet de«p with food and water pots being placed near the bodies to nourish the "spirit" on its eternal Journey. &>,««• Separate Bonn Charred corn and cracked remnants of animal bones were found in some of these pottery vessels. This -burial display It comprised of 20,000 separate items, which the doctor moved to that room in one afternoon without assistance. The' museum also has a tnxlcier- mal exhibit which has been the project of his grandson, Jimmy Durham, who lives with the doctor ane Mrs. Hampson. Other members of the family who take an active interest in the museum are Mary Melody, a granddaughter, and See NODENA MUSEUM on P»ge 19. Section A SLEDGE AND NORFLEET COMPANY Cotton Factors Memphis, Tenn. SECTION A-PAGE SEVENTEEN — Courier News Photo SKULL ROOM-Dr. Kampson ' holds one of 150 skulls of th« Mound Builder, and has collected from various excavations in the Nodena area. surgery. Indians which he of these skulls showed signs of successiul • • Greetings from Methodist Hospital Pharmacy 188 South Bellevue St. Phone 36-3361 —Courier Newi Pt»U EXACTLY AS THEY WKKK—Dr. Hampnon look» over hU r»- productlon of a small burial plot which he has put togethtr In tn» exact manner In which the skeletons were excavated. One infant and eight adult skeletons were found in this plot. The ixhlblt Ij mad. up of 20.000 different bones. Compliments John A. DuPre &Co. COTTON 89 So. Front St. MemphU, T«nn. Phon« 5-5494 Bruce Terminix Co. TERMITE CONTROL Blytheville-Osceola Eastern-Arkansas Southeastern Missouri Chisca Hotel Bldg. Memphis, Tenn: Thanks Blytheville! We would like to take this opportun- ity to thank you in the cotton trad* for your patronage during the 19-J9- 60 season. We of AlcC'allum & Robinson will continue to extend to all of our good friends in Blylheville the same cour- tesy and fair treatment that you have every right to expect. Yours faithfully, McCallum & Robinson, Inc. Owners And Operators Of ROMAC MILLS Makers Of The Famous ROMAC Rugs, Mops And Yarns Largest Cotton Pickery in the WHOLE World 481 E. Mallory L.D. Phones 9-6658 »nd 9-1178

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